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Changing strings on single coil p bass, looking for opinions

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by pghjeeper, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. pghjeeper


    Mar 11, 2011
    Hey I just picked up a squier classic vibe 50's p bass and I really like it. I however don't care for the strings that came on it. I have never ha a bass with flats but I love the clips I have listened to on the forum. I have to p bass's strung with rounds now, a 2012 American standard and a 1984 p bass. So I have that sound coverd I think.
    I have done a ton of reading and I have it narrowed down to ti jazz flats, labella deep talking or even a set of ken smith pressure wounds. I want a really fat low end but with some top end punch still. I'm not a huge fan of glaring mids so that's not an issue. I just know I hate the strings that came on the bass they are glassy and harsh sounding, plus I want to try flats. What are you guys running on your single coil p basses?
  2. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    You're describing LaBella Deep Talkin' perfectly, and they are the quintessential P Bass string, so it is a match made in heaven.
  3. lmfreeman9


    Sep 1, 2007
    If you go with Labellas, I recommend the FL's (light) which are most like TI's.

    I would also consider Chromes-also the lightest gauge.
  4. pghjeeper


    Mar 11, 2011
    Why lights? I normaly use .045-.110 fender supers on the American and ghs boomers .045-.105 on the 84 p bass.
  5. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    D'Addario Halfrounds for mine.
  6. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    LaBellas are higher tension than Fender or GHS, but if you like the heavy Fenders, then I'd go ahead and get the O670M ("Jamersons") set. They took me a couple of weeks to get used to coming from Sadowsky Black Label flats light gauge, so if you already play heavy, you'll be fine. Besides, they sound fantastic.
  7. I think the light gauge are suggested because of the break angle at the bridge. Your bass is strung thru the body and the break angle is quite severe on a '51.

    If you go with Labella flats, be sure to get a set made specifically for string-thru-the-body basses! Otherwise you'll be begging for a broken string.

    Labella's are great strings. But if I had a '51, I'd put a set of GHS Precision flats on it. They're very smooth feeling, warm, thumpy strings.
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    YES! Many of the LaBellas will not work with a string-through body. Be sure you select a string that is string-through approved by LaBella.

    I like TIs on mine, but they are mid-heavy, which you say you're not a fan of. May I suggest Ernie Ball flats?
  9. pghjeeper


    Mar 11, 2011
    This is a Squire CV 50's P bass so no string though on this one just a Squire hi mass bridge. I'm thinking of going with the GHS Precision flats or the LaBella deep talking.
  10. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    Ken Smith Pressurewounds.
    They sound amazing on a maple fingerboard P-Bass.
    Just let them settle in about two weeks.
    The last a long time too.
  11. 90dphillips


    Jan 11, 2012
    I have a P bass with a maple neck, and use all steel elixirs .045-.105 I like how they sound, an I also like a lot of other strings. I've tried a ton. There is no end all for me yet.
    Sorry to be of little to no help. ;)
  12. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    My bad... you said that up front, but I was thinking of the '51 reissue Squiers. Oops....

    Yeah, the LaBellas will give you some nice thump. If you're looking for more top end, try the Ernie Ball flats or GHS Precision flats. Either one will be more detailed than the LaBellas.
  13. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    I'll vote for GHS P-Flats...more detail and less tension than LaBellas. Less expensive, too!
  14. pghjeeper


    Mar 11, 2011
    Ok I'm going with the ghs precision flats should I go Long light or long medium? I was leaning toward the mediums since they are close to the scale of the rounds I play now. But how much more tension will there be? Is it a major differance?
  15. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    My rule of thumb: Go one gauge lighter with flats than with rounds.
    If you normally play medium rounds, get medium-light flats.
    If you normally use medium-light rounds, get light flats. Etc...

    I play 45-105 rounds and use 40-100 flats.
  16. No disrespect to LO-E but in my experience with GHS P's the 45-105 are the ones to get, they really are closest IMO to round 45-105's in thickness and feel, and tension.

    In contrast, the D'Addarrio Chromes (45-100's) feel way too thick and high tension compared to 45-105 rounds IMO.
    and the Fender 50-100's were also very close to round 45-105's but with more tension (that I really like) but quite bright and less of a thud/thump than the GHS P's.
  17. I currently have TI Jazz Flats on mine, which may rankle some feathers, but they really sound good on my 54 reissue (Sting) version. If I were to change, it would be to the GHS Precisions in light gauge. Gotta love those strings and the old school tone. Sounds like chocolate.
  18. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    No disrespect perceived! My flats experience is limited to LaBella, D'Addario Chromes, TI, Roto 77 and Ernie Ball. I haven't spent any time with Fender or GHS flats, so my rule of thumb only fits the strings I've gotten my thumbs on. ;)
    I'm not a fan of high tension or stiffness, so I would probably go lighter with GHSs as well, but that's just me. The TIs I use on my '51 reissue are downright floppy and they don't bother me a bit. Flats tend to be stiffer than rounds by nature, and I prefer a little give.
  19. me too... I know this probably sounds very common sense to most, but funny how the tension and tone of a string set can really suit a particular bass or make it suffer... Took me so long to realise this, and as a result two basses that don't usually get gigged are now back in competition to be played on stage again.
    I spent three more hours with the Chromes yesterday, and I'm really warming to then too... the GHS's felt perfect for me right after stringing up, but I guess my learning curve with flats and how they behave is still a work in progress.
    so much variety now... loving it, very inspiring to play and practice, almost like having a bunch of new basses simply because of the new (and different types) of strings I put on them. When all my basses were strung with rounds, even different brands, I didn't really have that much variety in tone.

    edit: I know tone is mainly in the fingers, but what they pluck, strike and slap really does make a huge difference (derrr) to my ears ;)
  20. Because flats(almost always) feel stiffer than rounds of the same gauge. One notable exception are the Ti's.....they are unique.

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